Israel takes step to make death sentences easier

Israel takes step to make death sentences easier

A bill to allow capital punishment for terrorists passed a preliminary Knesset vote on Wednesday by a narrow majority. Barak told World Israel News (WIN), "In general Netanyahu's coalitions are like a circus juggler with 65 spinning plates and you can't keep them in the air forever".

The motion, which would allow the Israeli authorities to use the death penalty in cases where Palestinians were involved in "operations against Israeli targets", was initially brought forward by Avigdor Lieberman, who is Israel's defence minister and is well known for his extreme nationalist views. In August 2016, Israeli lawmakers approved the so-called Youth Bill, legalizing the imprisonment of Palestinian minors as young as 12, should they be are suspected of grave crimes, such as acts of terrorism against the state of Israel.

The bill must still pass several more readings before it becomes law.

Fierce debates Wednesday, however, raged around the ethical application of the death penalty and its compatibility with Judaism.

Another point of concern is that the same death penalty law could be used against Jewish terrorists. Following their religious conviction, members of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party walked out before the vote to consult with rabbis on the issue.

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Last year, Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his support for applying the death penalty to those he described as "terrorists with blood on their hands".

"There are extreme cases in which people who committed awful acts do not deserve to live", Netanyahu said during the meeting.

"I've seen some shocking things in my life, but I was shocked". Most recently, when a Palestinian terrorist murdered five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, many in the IDF and the Knesset called for the murderer's execution, but the initiative was blocked by the Shin Bet. Instead of deterring, it will strengthen the terrorists, who will turn into shaheeds [Arabic for martyr].

In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates ministry assured that it considers the project to be part of the Israeli escalation in its arbitrary measures against the Palestinians, as well as serious violations of the law, global conventions and protocols and human rights.

The European Union's delegation to Israel Wednesday condemned death penalty saying it is "incompatible with human dignity".

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